Monday 29 December 2014

New bill 'won't fully protect gay teachers'

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

Published 12/04/2014 | 02:30

Sheila Nunan of the INTO said new equality legislation doesn't go far enough
Sheila Nunan of the INTO said new equality legislation doesn't go far enough

PRIMARY teachers say proposed new equality legislation is not going far enough to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) teachers from discrimination.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) wants a section of existing legislation abolished rather than amended, as is currently proposed in the Employment Equality Bill.

Currently, religious-run schools are not considered guilty of discrimination where they take action to prevent an employee from 'undermining the religious ethos of the institution'.

The new bill will amend section 37 (1) but INTO boss Sheila Nunan said this did not go far enough in guaranteeing protection for employees.

She said: "Amending a bad law does not change it. Section 37.1 causes real anxiety to teachers whose family status, sexual orientation or gender identity may be perceived as being in conflict with (a school's) ethos.

"People of non-faith and minority religious backgrounds, and LGBT people should not be deterred from taking up employment as teachers."

Irish Independent

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